Jake Gagne To Ride for Red Bull Honda World Superbike
With the passing of Nicky Hayden, the only American who was racing in the 2017 World Superbike Championship, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team began seeking someone to fill the vacancy on the CBR1000RR SP2.
Rumors began circulating about Jake Gagne joining the team. Though he’s not an official member of the team, the 25-year-old Californian will join Red Bull Honda World Superbike this weekend for the US round of World Superbike at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (July 7-9).
Gagne brings much experience to Laguna Seca World Superbike; he won the Red Bull Rookies Cup at the age of 18 in 2010, before racing for a year in the CEV Moto2 Championship. He then returned to America where he won the Daytona SportBike Championship (2014) and the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Championship the following year.
“For me this is a dream come true and a huge honor to get an opportunity to race in the World Superbike Championship with such a prestigious team,” Jake Gagne says. “This is a huge opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to do the best job possible and learn as much as I can. The loss of Nicky was very difficult for us all but I know he will be watching over us and I hope I can make him proud.
“Laguna Seca will always be a very special track for him and I’m honoured to get out there in front of our home crowd and show what I can do. It seems like a great fit coming off a Honda Superbike here in the States, as well as having Red Bull as the team sponsor, as they have supported me throughout my whole career. I would like to express my huge thanks to Honda, Red Bull and Ten Kate for this incredible opportunity. And thanks also to Broaster, RoadRace Factory and my whole team for allowing me to chase this dream!”
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager, says: “Jake is a young and talented racer who already knows the Fireblade quite well from racing in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and has raced – and won – many times at Laguna Seca. We are looking forward to welcoming him within the team and giving him the best possible support for his World Superbike debut. I’m confident he will enjoy the experience and will do his very best in front of his home crowd. Nicky was known for his great support of young riders – especially his fellow Americans – and was always available for a chat and to offer advice, so I feel this is the perfect way to honour him at Laguna Seca.”
Mike Snyder, Marketing Senior Manager, American Honda, says: “It is our pleasure to collaborate with our peers at Honda Motor Europe and show the strength of Honda teamwork. Jake is a talented young man, and he has been a huge part of our re-entry into the AMA road racing scene this year. We are happy to see him have this opportunity with WorldSBK, and having new American talent enter the world scene at Laguna is a fitting tribute to Nicky’s memory.”